PlanningThe ParksTips

Major Changes Since Your Last Walt Disney World Vacation

One of the best parts of Walt Disney World is that it is constantly changing and adjusting to make the Guests experience as magical as possible.  This also means that planning can be difficult as things are always fluid.

In the past few years, since summer of 2020, the Walt Disney World Resort has made some big adjustments to Guests’ experience at a Disney Park and throughout the Walt Disney World Resort in general.

We want to make sure that you are aware of these major changes so you can have the best time in Walt Disney World during your vacation.   Take a look at the major changes Disney has made since your last Walt Disney World vacation.

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Credit: DIsney

Park Pass Reservations

One of the biggest changes since your last Walt Disney World vacation is the implementation of the Park Pass Reservation system.  Guests are now required to have park pass reservations prior to entering one of Disney’s four theme parks EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios).

Once you have purchased tickets or made a downpayment on a package, you can head to My Disney Experience to select your park pass reservations as you pick a Theme Park for each day.  Since there is limited capacity at all four parks, we highly recommend making these park passes as soon as you can.

Park passes are a big change, but something that is helping keep crowds manageable during this transition time at Walt Disney World.

My Disney Experience App

My Disney Experience

My Disney Experience (MDE) is the official app for Walt Disney World.  This app has been around for a few years, but the importance of this app and how much Guests use it has drastically changed over the last few years.

MDE holds all of your Disney vacation information when it comes to your reservations, but now it is even more important while in a Disney Park.  Guests can use the app to find out wait times, place mobile orders, use Disney Genie and even find the closest bathroom.

We realize that you might have used My Disney Experience during your last Disney vacation, but how important it is has drastically changed.  We highly recommend taking time to download it prior to your vacation and use it a little as well.  This will make it a lot easier to navigate when you arrive in a Disney Park.

Disney Genie

A new feature found within My Disney Experience is Disney Genie.  Disney Genie is a new, free planning tool that can help Guests navigate their day in a Disney Park.

Guests can use Disney Genie in a variety of ways such as finding out projected wait times, getting recommended touring plans as well as updates on dining availability.

Disney Genie is a great, free feature that has only been around for a little while but can add a lot of additional tips and tricks to your Disney vacation making it a little smoother.

Since this is probably new, consider playing around with it before arriving in Walt Disney World.  You can go in and provide Disney Genie with top choices when it comes to rides and entertainment as well as dining.  This can really help the Genie provide you with suggestions.

credit: Disney

Genie+

Genie+ is a paid feature in addition to Disney Genie that Guests can choose to add to their Disney vacation for $15/person/day.

If purchased, Genie+ provides Guests access to the Lightning Lane for over 40 attractions through the four Disney Parks.  This can help limit Guests time in lines giving them the chance to experience more throughout the Disney Parks.

Since this is a brand new option in Walt Disney World, take some time determining if it is something that would benefit you during your trip.  We have a quick overview HERE to help.

mobile order
Credit: Disney

Mobile Ordering

Mobile ordering slowly became more popular throughout Walt Disney World prior to the closing in 2020.  Since reopening, this system has been highly recommended by Walt Disney World as the way Guests can order food from quick service locations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort property.

Guests can find mobile ordering in the My Disney Experience app.  Here they can choose their desired location as well as a time slot that works for them.  Once those have been picked, they can then place their order.  When they are ready to pick up their food, they can click the prepare my order option and Cast Members will begin preparing.

This is helping control crowds within these dining locations during mealtimes.  Guests that have questions or don’t have a smartphone can work with a Cast Member to place orders still, but overall Mobile Ordering is how food is ordered from quick service locations.

Since this is a new feature for many, take some time to check it out prior to heading down.  This can help you understand the system and be more prepared to use it when needed.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: Disney

Disney Skyliner

The newest mode of transportation in Walt Disney World is the Disney Skyliner.  The skyliner can take Guests to and from EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios with stops at Disney’s Caribbean Resort, Disney’s Riviera, Pop Century and Art of Animation.

Even if you aren’t staying at one of the skyliner resorts, you can easily take a ride when visiting Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Consider taking it for a lunch break over to Disney’s Riviera or Disney’s Caribbean Beach for a fun meal at Primo Piatto or Banana Cabana.

A quick and fun way to travel throughout the resort property, the skyliner is a must experience during your next vacation.

These are some of the biggest changes that we have seen in Walt Disney World over the past few years.  We hope that bringing them to your attention will help you be more prepared for your Walt Disney World vacation.

We are glad that Walt Disney World is constantly changing and working to make the Guests’ experiences as magical as possible.

If you are looking for more tips about Walt Disney World check out our most HERE.  We also have secret tips no one mentions HERE.

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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